Mine won't get help to save his family, because his family has outlived its' usefulness to him. Sociopaths only use, they don't love.
Example: Dennis Rader, the BTK killer (sociopath). Boy Scout leader, church elder, good, decent family man. With a penchant for killing. His family served a purpose. It was his cover. His wife had no idea.
Once I found out my SA's history, and caught on to who he really was, I could no longer serve the purpose of showing him off to the world as a good family man, while allowing him to indulge in his addiction. I'm just not useful to him anymore, I know too much.
That is why he tried so hard to get me to ignore it, sweep it under the rug, and pretend to look the other way for him. Because, he could have kept his "cover", and I allowed him to blend in with a lot of good upstanding people, I was an excellent cover, I even restored ties with his family, which allowed him to use his mother for money. (Which he did while we were together, before me they were strained, I built the bridge back, and he used that bridge to con his mom).
So, I just wanted to put this out there. Some addicts won't get help simply because they are unable to give up their addiction at this time. But others won't get help, because they have no intention of ever changing, and their family really isn't all that important, although they will convince everyone else that their family is of the utmost importance.
While most of you will not have to deal with this, there will be a couple of people on this board that this will ring true with, and it may help you decide if it is worth going for R or not.
Thank you so much for your posts. It all rings true for him and I've also done some reading on the subject of S.
I do think the subject of S is an important one. While not all WS are sociopaths, some are. The way they victimize their
"prey" is a key element. When it is happening, the victim has no idea of what is really going on. I certainly didn't.
If I would have just listened to what my ex was saying, I might have believed him after D day. I had kicked him out and he was acting remorseful with lots of tears, etc. But, much to my horror, my ex had really turned his attention to my now ex bil!
At the time this all happened, my sister had left ex bil filed for D and he was very vulnerable. He also had money. Before I knew it, ex had moved in with bil! Before that, he hated bil and really put him down, badmouthing him all the time. Then I got wind that bil was going to loan ex a great deal of money. I knew the only reason bil was going to do that is because he thought it would help me.
I did warn bil that my ex was NOT his friend and please to not give him any money because he would never see it again and it wasn't for me. Bil listened to me and got rid of him.
There were many things after D day that showed me that ex had problems that were in his character and that could not be fixed. I saw the predatory side of him and it scared me. But what really freaked me out is how he tried to victimize my bil and how he did so in such a cool and calculating manner. Then I knew that is exactly what he had done to me.
Thanks again for sharing.
Some addicts won't get help simply because they are unable to give up their addiction at this time. But others won't get help, because they have no intention of ever changing, and their family really isn't all that important, although they will convince everyone else that their family is of the utmost importance.
Very interesting posts, Naive Again. I think my H is of the first group. He just wants to manage his addiction and call it progress.
I think he is a narcissist, but not NPD. He feels guilt far too easily. But he has a hard time not making all that's happened about him and how bad it makes *him* feel. He's so used to me enabling that, he's unsure what to do with me not only not enabling, but not really caring.
I can't help chuckling to myself at the ironies even though there isn't anything funny about your situation or mine.
I am the only one in our marriage who does care about it, yet I am "busy" "acting as if" I don't care while I am learning not to really care.
She couldn't care less but acts like she does when she wants something. Is she a sociopath? idk maybe maybe not. Narcissist, yeah but I read that all addicts exhibit narcissistic actions. Bipolar, well a couple of psychiatrists thought so but otoh my counseler doesn't think that is likely. None of the drugs worked so I have to go with my counselor on it.
You are ahead of me but I can see through your, and others stories where I am going and I appreciate all of you.
[This message edited by Stop at 9:55 PM, December 1st (Tuesday)]
They may truly love their families - to the extent they are capable - but they always carry around their "knowledge" that nobody would ever love them if they really knew them. At their core, they believe themselves unloveable. So to get "clean", they have to choose to give up the only thing they believe they can trust, the only thing they believe they can rely on, their only coping mechanism, on the long shot that they can finally live freely in a loving relationship - when they are in fact unloveable.
The root cause of many, many SA's addiction is childhood abuse, which taught them they are unloveable. And I'll add a little aside here that I've read and experienced along my educational path with this disease - many, many males have an extremely hard time acknowledging and admitting to themselves, much less anyone else, that they were ever sexually abused.
I knew when I was dating my H (25 years ago) that he was physically abused by his dad. And it really took no time at all getting to know FIL to realize he still emotionally abused everyone around him. But it wasn't until my H was seeing his CSAT for a number of months till he even mentioned sexual "activity" one of his brothers inflicted upon him, more months till other sexual "activity" in the family was revealed, and even a couple more months till H would consider this as ABUSE. And H already knew he was SA and wanted to be well, but somehow thought he'd get well without digging all the way to the core.
In childhood, if we're lucky, we learn love, trust, we learn to value ourselves from our FOO and other significant childhood experiences. Often, the lesson an SA learns is he is not loveable, no one is trustworthy, and they are worthless.
If that is at your core, your behaviors are going to be self-centered (narcissistic), you are going to cycle up and down based on external factors and how you can manipulate the feel-good this moment (bipolar), you're going to only follow rules of society to create an impression that you want to manipulate people into believing (sociopathic) while you hold nothing sacred at heart.
If you look at the core set of beliefs they hold about themselves, you could see how terrifying giving up this one thing they can rely on to self-soothe can be absolutely terrifying. I think it is why the addict has to hit rock bottom - finding the place that this "soother" is causing them more pain than all their other pain - before they will consider recovery. Kind of like they get to the point where that have NOTHING, not even their addiction to trust any more, so they realize they have nothing to lose by trying. And even those who reach this point have a helluva time actually getting and staying sober and achieving real recovery.
I'm not saying that any of these guys and gals don't have other personality or psychological disorders, they might. I bet a lot of thos disorders can get traced back to the same root cause as the SA. I'm just saying that that root cause, whatever it is, and the addicition iteslf, make the decision for recovery for the addict an absolutely terrifying choice, so no other disorders are necessarily required to be there for the addict to protect and wallow in their addiction.
edited for typos (I always have to!)
you are going to cycle up and down based on external factors and how you can manipulate the feel-good this moment (bipolar)
This would be WH.
In his defense, he does genuine love me and his children. And, he is functional most likely because of the precense of his grandparents in his early childhood. I knew from day one about the physical and emotional abuse. It wasn't until the shit hit the fan that I found out about the sexual abuse.
But honestly, it made sense. WH has no memories before the age of 6. Its always been weird because he had a good life, that was when his grandparents were active in his life and protecting him from his mother's garbage. But, he has NO memories. And, its legit that he has none.
First thing MIL said to me when she found out what was going on was that he was molested by his step-father when he was 5. The next day, when he had the NERVE to be upset with her for concealing this information, she retracted and swore NO ONE ever touched him.
I wasn't very nice to her at that point. I quoted the statistics of SAs who have been physically abused, emotionally abused and sexually abused. I asked her if she REALLY thought he was the rare case that avoided those statistics when we all knew she had physically and emotionally abused him.
Yeah, as I said, I wasn't nice.
What I have NOT discussed with WH and I'm holding until we can get moved and he can get started with IC is another suspicion I have. I think MIL molested him. And, I don't know if she did it flat-out aggressively or if she did something passive aggressively.
MIL is a slut, and that's a kind word for this woman whom WH has strong memories of her parading dozens of men (married and single) through their house and her bed his entire childhood. She pinned who WH's father was because it was her first time....except there was ONE guy before but it was too far before for her to have been pregnant by him...except there was one guy she was sleeping with regularily for 3 years previously but he was sterile so it couldn't have been him. I do think WH's bio-father is who she claims, but you get the picture of her behaviors.
So, she's got serious hang-ups on males...serious hang-ups. She refuses to call male genitalia anything even close to appropriate. She's got a hundred nicknames from the gross to the downright embarrassing to the highly inappropriate but she won't call it what it IS. When we had our first son, we didn't circumcise him. No big deal, he's OUR son.
Three years later, WH had to warn her if she discussed our son's genitalia and how ugly and disgusting it was to her because it was not circ'd again, she would never be allowed near our son again. Seriously, this conversation had to occur before she would stop discussing our son and his privates with the entire WORLD.
Okay, so when we met, Wh was sharing a bedroom with his mother. MIL abandoned WH when he was 13 and diagnosed Bipolar. By 14 he moved from the group home she dumped him into his grandparents home and never came back. Until he was an adult and she convinced him he was worthless and should drop out of college.
She had a 900sqft house so yes it was small. But, instead of putting WH in a small room with his teen brother, she put him in HER room. His own bed...3 feet from hers, and right in front of the closet where she openly and liberally discussed her TOYS were kept.
When we were engaged, he came to visit and forgot underwear. So, duh, he went out and bought some. Three months later, she was still going off the deep end everytime she washes his clothes about how he shouldn't have bought underwear, she would have bought them for him.
He was 22 at this time. He had a full-time job with benifits. He had his own car. He had the financial ability to live on his own. But, he was turning 90% of his paycheck over to her. She had his ATM card and keys to his car.
It was ICKY. It was so icky I nearly broke up with him. But, he SWORE he had nothing to do with her behaviors. And sure enough he moved out, he set boundaries, he went onto live a normal and healthy life. And, he DID do this until 5 years ago, its not a lie that he did. When she would get aggressive at trying to cross his boundaries, he would limit contact until she was back under control.
Until the day I called her to tell her about this stuff. And, she went off about how he betrayed HER. She continued for 3 days to act like he had committed adultery on HER.
Um, his little brother is a male gigiloo. He brought a parade of girls into MIL's home from the time he was 12. He had crabs by the time he was 15 and she thought it was funny. The kid was a drug runner for the Mexican cartel for 3ish years. This brother is now hooked on prescription drugs and on unpaid leave from his police job unless he agrees to go to rehab. She's taken unpaid time off work to BEG his boss to let him come back.
Its not like MIL has never faced the reality of a truly AWFUL child she raised. She's got all that and a box of cigars in BIL.
But, it was WH she went off on. It was WH she disowned for his sexual struggles. And, she acted like a wife who wanted a divorce.
See where I'm going with this? He's worked SO hard for SO long for healthy relationship and boundaries with this woman. And, he flat out denies where my thinking goes on this. But, once we get settled and he gets started in IC, I want to bring this to the attention of his counselor.
Something is very unhealthy in that relationship. And, I truly don't think its WH's fault. But, watching her response to his struggles brought back all of her bizarrities and boundary issues we've fought so hard to establish for healthy relationships with her.
In my heart, I really do believe she molested him, or she passively manipulated him into some bizarre Odepial complex relationship that he wanted no part in.
I divorced my WS because of his activities and unwillingness to address the issues as anything else but 'normal' (all guys do it). I believe him to be an addict. He cycles though addictions. Drinking(6-10 beers a DAY), sex (porn/prostitutes/A's), gambling, etc. Hard to keep up with him. Our family therapist suggested AA and CSAT evaluation but he laughed it off. So, we are divorced...go figure. His sex addiction worsened. He started hooking up with strangers on CL and local prostitutes, taking strangers home from the bar (his new GF), obtained profiles on 'adult' sites for sex, etc... Although he most likely was doing this all along. I just was able to see everything he was up to after I left through discovery of the divorce. Imagine his shock when we all got to see it!
He gets the kids every other weekend and some holidays. I divorced later then I wanted due to the age of the kids (part of my struggle). I was comfortable when I left that they could communicate issues with me. But here is my issue:
A few families have allowed their children to go over to his house and/or out with him and the kids on his weekend. They are aware we are divorced but not WHY. My life is revolved around the kids, their school activities and their sports, etc. This is my stomping ground. I have lived with most of these parents for the last 5 years. We live in the same neighborhood. He on the other hand does not. He's not involved in anything outside of his parenting time.
As a parent, I feel like these friends (not good friends) should know what is up with him. I don't fear that he will hurt their kids, but the possibility is always there. The possibility that they may get exposed to something is there. This could come back on me. On the other hand, they have never asked me anything. They don't even know him, yet allow their kids to go over there!
This could come back on me one way or the other. On one hand, I don't want to be in the middle of a gossip ring (but I will for the sake of saving my a**). On the other, if something happens, I don't want to be ridiculed for not sending out the warnings (plus it would devastate me)...KWIM. I never thought this was going to be an issue.
Should I tell them the basics and allow them to make the choice or let it go???
As a parent, I would want to know. We want to protect our kids and keep them safe. Even the possibility would be enough for me to keep my children away from him. By law I have to send my kids, and it kills me. But I am aware, I communicate with them and we are working through it...
What are your thoughts on this?
ETA: Kids are 10 and 8
[This message edited by LisaP at 3:22 PM, December 2nd (Wednesday)]
"The only thing left to do is forgive and forget. I want to forgive you and I want to forget you!" ~Lauren Conrad
~Feel your emotions, but control your behavior~ Unknown
I guess you have to ask yourself how well is your xwh at concealing his behaviors from his children. And, what proclivities does he display in his behaviors.
If your xwh could be a danger to children, or if he is very poor at concealing his activities, then it could be a credible concern for other children.
What goes on behind someone's closed doors irt sex isn't per se something you need to declare to the world, especially since you choose the healthy option of walking away. But, I'm not sure how you determine if he's a credible concern for other children or not. In your case you obviously feel he's a credible concern for *your* children and likely feel the same for other children.
I think I would feel obligated to speak up, but would tread very carefully just the same.
And, I'm not sure how that would look in pratical terms.
I am NOT going to suggest disclose or not disclose. I am only going to say that you and only you can judge your motives.
My sponsor reminds me all the time: Check your motives. If your motives are right your actions will probably be right.
Mine was exposed to porn from the time he could walk. They just left it out on the coffee table. He has bad memories of his grandfather, but can't remember them. He was molested by the young teen boy next door. His dad regularly showed him porn at a very early age, he had a crush on a movie star, and his dad made certain he got to see her layout in Playboy. I think he was 9 or 10 at the time.
Dad cheated on mom with his secretary. Mom brought a parade of men home when dad was at work. "Go out and play for a bit."
Mom told me that her husband made her do some very degrading things. She also modeled semi-naked for a couple magazines. His whole life has revolved around sex since a very early age. He was pretty much given sex addiction for a disease. The only difference with mine, is he has the other bad qualities that makes it more than sex addiction. What I truly did not want to see, because, how could I be so naive and dense to end up with two mentally ill spouses?
But while I thought mine was truly remorseful in the beginning, it turned out it was all an act. And watching the way he swindles, cheats, leaves piles of debt and messes for everyone else to clean up (including me), moving around, I think he is on his tenth move in about 7 years), he had Child Conduct Disorder (cruelty to animals, vandalism, truancy, excessive fighting with others, etc....), and the females in his family are afraid of him, that all adds up to some major problems going on in him.
He also has a hairpin temper. He also poked me in the cheek, and broke another gf's nose. He has no problems inflicting pain on people he feels is deserving. There is a cold-bloodedness about him, that I kind of ignored, or put down as one of the hazards of his job (he was a cop), that makes your blood run cold. He never had empathy with me. One time I went crying to him, about something my psychoX was trying to do to me, and he pushed me away. He couldn't stand tears or weakness.
Some of the things he did are definitely attributed to addictive behavior, but some of them, not so much.
This is a realization I am just starting to accept, hence my posting about it, because I need to acknowledge this, and process it. And find out why I make such good sociopath bait.....
Little coldnesses and red flags that I pushed away when we were together, or ignored because I didn't want to see them, or deal with them, are coming back now, as I have another AHA moment about what my life has really been about here.
And my mom is convinced now that he grabbed onto me 1. As a front to show him to be a good family man, and 2. Because I had a little money when I first met him (now I don't as he has gone thru it all with one get rich scheme after another, and just because he HAD to have this, or HAD to have that.)
He does not worry about owing money to others. He owes my mom, his mom, the IRS, banks, friends, etc... He doesn't care. He rationalizes he doesn't owe the money back, for this reason or that.
And when he does show sadness over someone else, it is because he is losing something there, not because that person is in pain. When I was going thru the stress of trying to get away from my psycho, instead of feeling any empathy at the fact that I was dealing with a man that wanted to totally destroy me, all he could ever talk about was how hard it was on him, that he couldn't have me when he wanted, because we had to wait until I completely got away from him.
It was all about him. Everything was always all about him, and how it affected him. He never once showed compassion for my pain or struggles. He also has a blatant disrespect for the law, it doesn't really pertain to him (in his eyes), even though he was a cop, and I won't go into that here, but that is another facet of APD. And one of the things that is supposed to contribute to APD is a failure to bond with parents as a child. He has no bond with his mom at all, except to use her to fund his addiction and lifestyle. In fact, this is coming back to me now, I remember him talking about how much he will inherit when she passes. With no sadness in his voice at all, just matter of fact....
I'm glad I am going back to counseling.....
My motives....protect the new life I am making. His behaviors destroyed mine and the kids old life and we are starting over, fresh.
But it's not going to last long, it never does....
You obviously know your XH better than anyone else -- and it sounds like your "spidey senses" are tingling. If you genuinely feel that he should not be trusted with other people's kids, a general caution to the other parents about XH's irresponsibility (or something like that) would not be out of line.
I have done a little reading on this thread. A year or so ago, I caught my husband preparing to meet a prostitute. It turned in to 2 prostitutes and hours of porn and calling girls he met on craig's list while I was at work. Secret emails, etc. I almost left him then, mainly b/c he took our 8 month old DD with him to one of his back seat BJs. But I decided to stick it out and things got better for a while. But I knew that there was more he hadnt told me. I suffer from PTSD from the death of our son and was having terrible anxiety attacks. I finally put a key logger on his computer a week ago and it showed a new secret email, and more porn and more craiglist/hook up sites etc.
I confronted him and he finally was able to admit he had a problem. That he had stopped until August and thought he could just look at a couple of porn sites and of course it was beginning to escalate. Monday it showed that the second I walked out the door for the next 6 hours he was going places on the internet he shouldnt, though he swears he only visits chat sites and not porn while our DD is awake. (She'll be 2 in Jan)
He was genuinely and deeply ashamed of himself. He finally shared with me that he thinks he has some bisexual tendencies and that was the missing piece of info that I was feeling was out there all this time. He thought that would disgust me and that was the heart of why this was kept secret. I told him what turned him on wasnt the issue, it was his lieing, his deceit, his lack of attention to our DD when he was watching her. His addictive and escalating behavior. He agreed that he was heading back down the road to prostitutes and picking up who ever. And he agreed that he would never have told me, and that he would have continued having unprotected sex with me. (no need to prevent pregnancy - we're 16 weeks pregnant. ) and that would have endangered both me and our unborn son.)
He just broke down and agreed he was broken and had a problem and didnt want to be broken. It never occured to him that I would help him, even though I said over and over again that we could get through anything if he was just honest. He really thought the bisexual part would be a deal breaker he had a long breakdown and cried and cried. it broke my heart to tell you the truth. Esp the part about not wanting to be a bad daddy. I cried with him.
He has agreed to go to counseling. I have to call my benefits people next week and have it set up. We bought the Out of the Shadows book for him and are still looking for Mending the Shattered Heart for me. He is thinking of a support group. Though that makes him feel weird.
His big trigger time is in the evenings. Im a RN and I work 7p-7a 3 nighs a week. (he is a full time student) We only see each other about an hour on those days and then he spends the whole evening alone. He has always had trouble being alone. But I cant quit work. and even during the day when Im sleeping, he has to fight logging on the last few days. He says he hasnt and I beleive him. I have told him that right now, I want the truth more than I want sobriety. If he feels that he can come to me when he messes up, I feel like we can make it. Its an addiction, I expect him to mess up somtimes. Its the lying I can stand.
He understands he has to work to get better. that he has to strive to be in recovery or I will seperate from him for the sake of our children. But I am hopeful that he can get "sober" and stay that way. At least he is finally willing to see it is a problem, and he cant fix it on his own.
He told me he took a quiz on the Carnes site and scored a 15 which is supposed to be very indicitive of SA. He was suprised.
We are just kind of at a loss as to what else we should do at this point. I cant be up with him all the time. I work nights and Im pregnant and still throw up and Im tired all the time.
If you made it through all that, youre amazing. I just wanted to introduce myself. I figure I'll be coming here alot, since I cant really talk about this to people we know.
He also has a computer gaming addiction, which I think is just an aspect of his over all problem. In fact, long ago, I used to call his WOW paladin the "other woman." But thats sort of a secondary issue. He hardly plays WOW at all right now, he's been too busy with the porn. Thanks so much you guys. and I hope that made sense. If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate it.
Sounds like you belong here! That's great that your WH has agreed to go to counseling -- be sure that he goes to a CSAT or someone who specializes in sex addiction. Not all counselors are equal, and you can waste a lot of time and money on those who have no idea how to effectively treat SA.
My WH has a porn addiction, also -- mainly internet porn. He found it very helpful to stay off the computer altogether for a few months. Instead of computer time, he would read, work out, or find some activity around the house. I think it's important that your H find alternate activities for the times you work. Taking DD for a walk or to a playground? Yard work? Volunteer? I'm not sure what would work for him, but filling that empty time might be important to recovery.
ETA congrats on the expected arrival!!
[This message edited by gettingthrutoday at 10:49 AM, December 4th (Friday)]
Just Wow, you really hit the nail on the head with describing my SAH and his inability to get recovery. He was not sexually abused but he was emotionally abused by his father. But that is him. He thinks at his core he is unloveable. And after talking with him last night, he thinks even having thoughts about sex or lust, that he's already failed. I explained that thoughts are not failing, it's what you do with the thoughts but I know it's not going to change how he really thinks.
I wish there was a CSAT in our area. I'm so upset that there isn't. I think he could really use a good IC but he's really wary after his IC last year left and the fallout of that. It caused him to spiral into his addiction again but thankfully not too far as to have any A's.
I'm not in a position to leave right now but I think that if I have enough, then I will just make it work somehow. I don't think I can live with a non-recovering SA.
I've finally drawn firm lines in the sand and I've set up boundaries and consequences. He's sleeping on the couch for now until I see some improvement and he can stop lying. I'm not going to have sex with him if he's not going to be sober. That's a big one for me because I miss it. I never felt used by him and it was always nice, we made love and it was always intimate. I miss the physical closeness.
I have very little hope at this point but I guess I have a tiny sliver or I still wouldn't be in the marriage. He's a good dad and he doesn't want to lose his family. I just sometimes wonder if making him physically leave will be the only thing to make him reach his bottom. He is scared right now because he knows he's very close to losing me because I'm getting very done.
I'm still working on me and I do feel stronger. Not strong enough to be on my own. I also really don't want to go to work with my little one still only 1. I want to at least stay home until she's 3. But I also know that I don't want to stay out of fear and essentially tell him that it's ok to stay in his addiction.
I guess we will see what happens.
I wish I had more time but my kids are needing me so I will have to go.
Hugs to all that need them and welcome to all the newcomers.
He cant avoid the computer alltogether. 2 of his classes are online. and his major is computer programming. and I work 7pm-7 am, so there isnt really anywhere to take DD expect maybe the toddler play area at the mall. Too cold for the park.
We found a counselor near us who I think is working on CSAT, but isnt finished. but of course, it will also depend on who my insurance will cover.
So far Mr Pixie has been doing ok. I leave little notes up by the computer from me and the kiddos saying how much we love him. He said it really helped him today. He has his book to read tomorrow night and we have been cleaning the apartment and will be doing Christmas decorations Sunday. So I hope he will have enough to do. DD will be with him all day Sat And Sun, and I hope I can get his counseling approved next week.
I will probably find a counselor too, but really, I feel better now than I did before I confronted him. B/c I knew somthing was going on and he kept insisting nothing was...so now that I know Im not crazy, I feel better.
Anyway..thanks. I'll probably be around a lot.
When we were engaged, I caught him masturbating to a live web cam. He swore it was the first and only time (yeah right). He blamed porn on his computer on his roommate. I have since found out he was a member of several dating sites at the time: he says he never met anyone in person, just pleasured himself to their on-line pictures/video feeds.
This past February, I found out my husband was having an affair. It started last October with a lot of "sexting" and they had sex this past January (we live in different states, so the sex was when they were both away for the same business meeting). After I found out, he immediately went NC, gave me his passwords, signed us up for MC, etc.
I was back and forth for a long time - should I stay? Should I go? Then in October of this year, after nearly nine months had passed and just as I was feeling like I could honestly say "I love you" to him again, I found out about a new OW. They slept together once, without protection (no protection with OW#1 either). She is his friend's ex-girlfriend. Turns out, she is also a stripper. I told him it is now time for a divorce.
We are still living together for now, and as much as I think I should probably follow through with getting divorced and just move on, it is so hard to do. We have two young kids. I will be a single mom, struggling financially. If I ever fall in love again, it could be with someone who might do the exact same thing to me. Is it really worth leaving?
I know I will never trust my WH again. When I threatened him with a lie detector test after the "first" OW, he admitted to "fooling around" with a woman about three years ago, when our son was about six months old. So there have actually been three OW that I know of.
My gut tells me there are probably more women I don't even know about.
In almost every other way, he is the perfect husband and a great father. He helps around the house, goes out of his way to do little things to make me happy, makes me laugh, enjoys many of the same things as I do, is very involved with the kids, etc. We have always been pretty happy together, and have been together nearly 13 years. Even now, we are getting along great as friends, despite all that has happened.
I know that people hesitate to give "stay" or "go" advice on this board, but if you are willing to give it I am willing to hear it.
I feel so stuck, so indecisive, so lost.
If he is a sex addict, is there really hope? Am I in for a lifetime of repeat pain if I stay? We are not in MC right now, because my gut is telling me to leave. I start IC in January and he is searching for an IC as well.
I just don't know what to do or how to move on.
Sorry you had to join our group but pleased you are here because I am sure many will offer you good advice.
You are in a tough spot. You obviously know that. The books pretty much suggest you don't act until you feel comfortable it is the right thing to do.
I suggest you follow that advice but in the meantime set up some kind of personal, secret seperate "fund" "account" to prepare for any eventuality.
Definitely see an IC whether he does or not and take an honest look at codependency. You may or may not share that problem with many of us but if you do, fixing that is your long term answer.
If he stalls on counseling, or if you feel he is not opening up with his IC, or working on his problems,read up on boundaries,detachmenet and the "180".
imo, addiction or no addiction, you are starting a pretty long and potentially very painful journey. You need to know exactly how much you are willing to take and why you are willing to take it. What are your acceptable trade offs. Only you can decide that and you only have one life.
If you establish your expectations to be in line with probabilities the road will be less painful.
Please let me add that I discovered I needed to work on myself for codependency, (my wife is an acting out sex addict, not diagnosed but she is a long term, diagnosed gambling addict and also displays all the symptoms of sex addiction) and have set up a terrific support group that I lean on heavily and because of whom I am making good progress.
My support includes two selected family members, my IC, 2 COSA groups, my sponsor in COSA, this forum, about 15 books, and some net surfing. I recommend all of it.
Others will give you more insight because many are ahead of me on this painful road.
[This message edited by Stop at 10:23 AM, December 5th (Saturday)]
Since he seriously started seeking help in April of last year, he hasn't done anything to constitute me leaving him so here are my consequences;
If he has minor slip ups such as looking at porn or any site with adult content, I'm going to take that day to have some "me" time and I'm going to withdraw physically but not emotionally. I don't like having sex with him after he slips up so I'm doing this out of respect for myself. Chewing him out only makes me feel better so from now on, I won't be doing that but I'll still let him know that I'm dissapointed in him.
The only thing at this point that'll constitute leaving him is if his slip ups once again get out of hand and of course, if he cheats again. 2 A's is enough, I will leave if that happens and right now I'm going back to school and taking up photography so I can have skills and resources to not be financially "at his mercy".
I decided not to check up on him anymore. I'll know when something is off. I saw the signs leading up to his 2 A's but I ignored them, I won't anymore.
Maybe some may not agree with my methods but this is what I feel will work for me and I feel much better about going on with my life. I think I've finally learned to emotionally detach.
[This message edited by momofthree2007 at 1:40 AM, December 7th (Monday)]